Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why? Why Not!

I get asked all the time why anyone in their right mind would want to get involved in politics or local government in Lower Providence. We have a well-deserved reputation around Montgomery County for being a township where such involvement is considered a ‘full contact sport’.

It’s a problem in that many times, good, qualified people refuse to run for various positions or seek board appointments because they don’t want to deal with the firestorms of controversy and personal attacks that come with it. They want to volunteer and help out, and make a difference in their community, but they don’t want the other ‘stuff’, for themselves or their families. It takes a very strong person to be willing to stick their neck out to take a position about something and then get slapped around regularly for defending it.

It’s definitely not for people looking for light entertainment or an ego boost, because no matter what you do, someone is unhappy with you. You truly can't please everyone, all the time, and you get beat up for even trying. Especially in Lower Providence, where the Republican Party in particular spends more time, energy and money openly battling itself instead of finding ways to unify and work together and further its conservative agenda.

I got involved, and stay involved despite the regular pops to my jaw, because our residents deserve someone who tries to look out for the community's overall interests, and is willing to withstand heat for doing so, instead of someone whose agenda of personal and petty vindictiveness inspires them to focus their resources on how best to stick it to so-and-so.

Lately, a few have asked why I started to write this blog. I think it’s a great question. Simply, it goes back to wanting to make a difference and using every opportunity available to do it.

I grew up here. My late husband grew up on Fifth Avenue in Audubon, right next to Valley Forge Park. I met him at Methacton; we got married at Artillery Row in Valley Forge. We settled down here. My daughter graduated from Methacton in 2007 and my son attends the high school now. I think I have good ideas, I know others share my values about how good government functions and what a community should be. I care about what Lower Providence was, what it is, and more importantly, what it can be. I had a great experience here growing up, and live a very full and happy life here now. I’d like for others to view and experience Lower Providence the way I know it.

This is 2010. We reach people through various media these days. I know people who get their news entirely on the internet, or through Facebook. And, I strongly believe that the more educated our residents and voters are, the better.

It’s not out of a desire, as my ‘haters’ would say, to be negative or mean. When the Times Herald runs a story, pointing out something that seems amiss, it’s not being negative…it’s giving the facts as their reporter sees it. I don’t see this as being much different. As Will Rogers once said, “I just watch the government and report the facts."

Sometimes, reporters aren’t privy to all the sides of a story or all the facts of a situation. Sometimes, I suspect focusing on one part of a story might sell more newspapers. And, obviously, as we’ve seen, sometimes, one side or the other would like to keep certain things quiet. If that can unfairly affect your perception of a project or a person, I think whatever other 'side' exists should be put out there for discussion and evaluation by our residents. Ultimately, it’s about holding people accountable for what they say and do, especially if they are doing it with your tax dollars or, allegedly, on ‘your’ behalf.

That’s why I’m doing this. For those of you who don’t agree with me, or like me, or approve of what I do or who my friends are (and most of those folks have never even spoken to me or met me), I’m fine with that. I invite you to skip my blog and carry on in your narrow-minded world. My target audience is people who are open minded and don’t rush to judgment until they know all sides of a story – or until they’ve actually spent some time with a person before assaulting their character.

And, if you ever want to ask me a question or debate an issue in person, I welcome it. My number’s in the book. I’m not hard to find in person. Most Thursday evenings I’m at the township building.

For the record, if I truly enjoyed the limelight, as one poster on Stan's Blog suggested, I'd go try out for Methacton Community Theater instead of being involved in politics. No haters there.


Karen said...

I am always looking forward to whatever you come up with next, so hang in there and keep at it. You have the right attitude and you know you always have my support no matter waht!

Anonymous said...

Lower Providence residents need more people like you in thier corner. I think that your blog is great..